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US Soccer

U-17 MNT Makes 2016 AIFF Youth Cup Final

GOA, India (May 23, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew South Korea 0-0 and defeated Malaysia 2-1, to advance to the 2016 AIFF Youth Cup final on May 25.

In the first match, the U.S. was able to outshoot South Korea 12 to nine, but neither team could manage to put the ball in the back of the net.

The second match proved a little tougher, as the U.S. took on Malaysia, the then first place team in the tournament table. The USA’s Josh Sargent converted a penalty kick in the 19th minute to take the lead. Seconds before halftime, Sargent tallied again to earn a 2-0 scoreline going into the second half.

In the second half, the USA’s Kevin Negrete was charged with a red card, leaving the U.S. with 10 men on the field for most of the second half. Malaysia countered in the 86th minute as Zainul Arifin Bin Ahmad scored, but the effort was too late as that would be the final goal of the match.

The U.S. placed first in the standings heading into the Final and will take on South Korea, who tied with India to earn second place and take the other spot in the final. The final match will take place on May 25 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. South Korea
Date:
May 21, 2016        
Competition:
AIFF Youth Cup 2016
Venue:
Tilak Maidan; Goa, India
Kickoff:
5:30 a.m. ET (4 p.m. local)
Weather:
110 degrees

Scoring Summary:           1              2              F
USA                                     0              0              0
KOR                                     0              0              0                             

Lineups:
USA:
12-Alex Budnik; 3-Christopher Gloster, 13-Rayshaun McGann, 5-Tyler Shaver, 2-Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus (18-Arturo Vasquez, 46); 4-Christopher Durkin (capt.), 6-Christopher Goslin (23-Kevin Negrete, 60), 8-Blaine Ferri (10-George Acosta, 60); 11-Andrew Carleton, 9-Joshua Sargent, 7-Ayomide Akinola
Subs not used: 1-Justin Garces, 14-Jaylin Lindsay, 15-Jake Arteaga, 16-James Sands, 17-Niccolo Lemoine, 19-William Sands, 20-Adrian Villegas, 21-Chandler Vaughn, 22-Quantrell Jones
Head coach: John Hackworth

KOR: 23-Park Jimin; 3-Kim Minhyeok, 5-Kim Jusung, 15-Ko Junhee, 2-Kim Taehwan (capt.); 6-Lee Soobin (11-Joung Sungjune, 46), 20-Yong Donghyun, 10-Shin Sangwhi (14-Jeon Seungmin, 76); 7-Park Chanbin (9-Park Jeongin, 64), 18-Cheon Seonghoon, 8-Son Jaehyeok
Subs not used: 1-Baek Jongbum, 12-Jeon Wooram, 13-Seo Woomin, 16-Kang Eui Chan, 19-Cheon Hyun Byong, 21-Lee Hak Yoon’, 22-Kim Chaewoon, 25-Lee Hakseon
Head coach: Seo Hyowon

Statistics: USA / KOR
Shots: 12 / 9
SOG: 6 / 5
Fouls: 16 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
KOR - Kim Jusung (caution)                       15th minute
KOR - Ko Junhee (caution)                         50
USA - Alex Budnik (caution)                       54         
USA - Rayshaun McGann (caution)           55
KOR - Ko Junhee (caution)                          79
KOR - Ko Junhee (ejected)                          79
KOR - Kim Taehwan (caution)                    90+3

Officials:
Referee: Tejas Visvasrao Nagvenkar
Assistant Referee: Melwin Rosario Dcosta
Assistant Referee: R. Manojkumar
Fourth Official: Akash Jackson Routh

Match: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Malaysia
Date: May 23, 2016         
Competition: AIFF Youth Cup 2016
Venue: Tilak Maidan; Goa, India
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local)
Weather: 100 degrees

Scoring Summary:           1              2              F                                                             
USA                                       2              0              2
MAS                                      0              1              1

USA - Joshua Sargent (Penalty Kick)                        19th minute
USA - Joshua Sargent (Niccolo Lemoine)                               45+2
MAS - Zainul Arifin Bin Ahmad                                    86                                          

Lineups:
USA: 23-Quantrell Jones; 21-Chandler Vaughn, 15-Jake Arteaga, 5-Tyler Shaver (3-Christopher Gloster, 46), 14-Jaylin Lindsey; 16-James Sands, 20-Adrian Villegas (4-Christopher Durkin, 90), 23-Kevin Negrete; 19-William Sands, 9-Joshua Sargent (capt.) (8-Blaine Ferri, 46), 17-Niccolo Lemoine
Subs not used: 1-Justin Garces, 2-Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus, 6-Christopher Goslin,7- Ayomide Akinola, 10-George Acosta, 11-Andrew Carleton, 12-Alex Budnik, 13-Rayshaun McGann, 18-Arturo Vasquez
Head coach: John Hackworth

MAS: 30-Muhammad Rafiq Bin Kamaruddin; 41-Abdul Hadi Bin Hasbollah, 35-Muhammad Feroz Bin Baharuddin, 3-Muhammad Faris Bin Mohd Zabri, 6-Harzan Hafiz Hazlizanizan B Ahwal; 36-Muhammad Najmi Idham Bin Johan, 4-Zainul Arifin Bin Ahmad, 28-Xsevier Xcico Felex (10-Aliff Haiqal Bin Lokman Hakim Lau, 61), 12-Muhammad Hafikri Bin Abdullah (26-Noramirul Bin Awang, 50); 9-Arif Shaqirin Bin Suhaimi (capt.), 23-Muhamad Iqbal Hakem B Mohd Zabri (11-Muhammad Nizarruddin Bin Jazi, 71)
Subs not used: 7-Muhammad Alif Safwan Bin Sallahuddin, 13-Muhamad Aiman Bin Mohd Zaidi, 19-Azrin Aduka Bin Asahari, 20-Muhammad Asif Bin Maszarry, 33-Aidil Mirza Darwisy Bin Mazhisam, 42-Muhammad Firdaus Irman Bin Mohd Fadhil
Head coach: Somasudram Periasamy

Statistics: USA / MAS
Shots: 6 / 6
SOG: 2 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 11
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Offside: 4 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
MAS - Abdul Hadi Bin Hasbollah (caution)                             18th minute
MAS - Harzan Hafiz Hazlizanizan B Ahwal (caution)            32
USA - Kevin Negrete (ejection)                                                 51

Officials:
Referee: Tejas Visvasrao Nagvenkar
Assistant Referee: Melwin Rosario Dcosta
Assistant Referee: Suman Majumdar
Fourth Official: Marx Johndonbok Nongsiej

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U-17 MNT May 24, 2016

- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report – 

Match: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. South Korea
Date:
May 25, 2016        
Competition:
AIFF Youth Cup 2016
Venue:
Tilak Maidan; Goa, India
Kickoff:
10:30 a.m. ET (8 p.m. local)
Weather:
95 degrees

Scoring Summary:           1              2              1ET         2ET         F
USA                                       1              0              0              0              1
KOR                                        1              0              0              1              2

KOR - Lee Hakseon                          15th minute
USA - Andrew Carleton                 32
KOR - Jeon Seugmin                        114

Lineups:
USA:
12-Alex Budnik; 3-Christopher Gloster (17-Niccolo Lemoine, 116), 13-Rayshaun McGann, 5-Tyler Shaver, 18-Arturo Vasquez; 4-Christopher Durkin (capt.), 6-Christopher Goslin (16-James Sands, 102), 10-George Acosta; 11-Andrew Carleton, 9-Joshua Sargent (8-Blaine Ferri, 46), 7-Ayomide Akinola
Subs not used: 1-Justin Garces, 2-Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus, 14-Jaylin Lindsay, 15-Jake Arteaga, 19-William Sands, 20-Adrian Villegas, 21-Chandler Vaughn, 22-Quantrell Jones, 23-Kevin Negrete

Head coach: John Hackworth

KOR: 23-Park Jimin; 3-Kim Minhyeok, 5-Kim Jusung, 15-Ko Junhee, 2-Kim Taehwan (capt.); 8-Son Jaehyeok, 20-Yong Donghyun (22-Kim Chaewoon, 97), 9-Park Jeongin (14-Jeon Seungmin, 41); 25-Lee Hakseon (10-Shin Sangwhi, 90), 18-Cheon Seonghoon, 7-Park Chanbin
Subs not used: 1-Baek Jongbum, 6-Lee Soobin, 11-Joung Sungjune 12-Jeon Wooram, 13-Seo Woomin, 16-Kang Eui Chan, 19-Cheon Hyun Byong, 21-Lee Hak Yoon
Head coach:
Seo Hyowon

Statistics: USA / KOR
Shots: 11 / 10
SOG: 8 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 14
Corner Kicks: 2 / 2
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – George Acosta (ejected)                 55th minute
KOR – Lee Hakseon (caution)                      88
KOR – Ko Junhee (caution)                          106
USA – Rayshaun McGann (caution)         113
USA – Tyler Shaver (caution)                       118

Officials:
Referee: Tejas Visvasrao Nagvenkar
Assistant Referee: Melwin Rosario Dcosta
Assistant Referee: Suman Majumdar
Fourth Official: Priyobarta Singh Langpoklakpam

{83DCD2FD-B5FC-43B5-BCD0-A4B41E0F702D}
US Soccer

USA Drops 3-1 Result Away to World Cup Hosts France in First Game of 2019

LE HAVRE, France (Jan. 19, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened its 10-game pre-2019 World Cup schedule with a 3-1 loss to tournament hosts, France at Stade Océane – one of the USA’s group stage venues for this summer’s competition – in front of raucous sold-out crowd of 23,000.

France’s Kadidiatou Diani put the hosts on the board early with a goal in the 9th minute, while the USA was able to get a few chances with Christen Press leading the way on the left wing.

In the second half, the USA came out determined and immediately began to get into France’s final third, with a good chance coming around the 50th minute mark. In the 56th however, Diani showed off some excellent individual play and netted her second of the match for the 2-0 France advantage. France’s 20-year-old Marie-Antoinette Katoto added a third in the final minutes of regulation before Mallory Pugh finished off a good passing sequence with a well-taken shot across the face of goal into the lower right corner in second half stoppage time.

Up Next: The U.S. travels to the southern tip of the Iberian penninsula to face Spain in Alicante on January 22 (2:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2 & UDN) at Estadio José Rico Pérez. The match will be the first in history between the teams.

Social: Follow the #USWNT on Facebook; Twitter and Instagram.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Kadidiatou Diani (Delphine Cascarino), 9th:
The USA turned the ball over in its attacking third and France sprung a counter attack down the right side as Delphine Cascarino sprinted past Emily Fox to win the ball and took it to the end line before cutting it back in the box for Diani. She bodied off a U.S. defender as she collected the ball and then hit a low shot into the lower left corner from nine yards out for the early lead. USA 0, FRA 1

FRA – Kadidiatou Diani (Marion Torrent), 56th: France doubled its advantage on a nice bit of individual play from Diani, who ran onto a ball in the right side of the U.S. penalty area and sent a deft chip over U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, dropping it into the net just inside the right post. USA 0, FRA 2

FRA – Marie-Antoinette Katoto (
Élise Bussaglia), 78th: With the U.S. pushing forward trying to pull a game back, France’s 20-year old young star got behind the U.S. back line on left side, dribbled around Naeher and rolled the ball to the back of the net from a tight angle. USA 0, FRA 3.

USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd), 90+1: The U.S. put together a flowing move beginning with a pass out of the back that Jessica McDonald one-touched to Carli Lloyd, who spotted the early run of Pugh and hit a quick chip over the France defense. Pugh out-worked a defender to collect Lloyd’s pass and rifle a low shot from the left side of the box across the face of goal and into the lower right corner. USA 1, FRA 3 [WATCH] FINAL

Additional Notes:

  • Tonight marked the first loss for the USA in 28 games. The U.S. hadn’t lost a game since July 2017 when it lost 1-0 to Australia.
  • Several U.S. players were precautionarily unavailable today: Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Casey Short, and Julie Ertz due to minor injuries, while Kelley O'Hara is still returning from ankle surgery, but not yet game ready.
  • Tierna Davidson made her first appearance for the USA since Sept. 4, 2018. Davidson broke her ankle early in the season while playing with Stanford and was out for the remainder of the year.
  • The USA’s record vs. France now stands at 17-3-3.
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WNT Jan 19, 2019
US Soccer

Lineup Notes: World Cup Year Begins vs. France in Le Havre

USA vs. FRANCE Date: Jan. 19, 2019 Venue: Stade Ocèane; Le Havre, France Broadcast: FS1, UDN Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET Starting XI vs. France: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 2-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 26-Emily Fox; 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 19-Crystal Dunn; 11-Mallory Pugh, 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 23-Christen Press Subs: 3- Samantha Mewis, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-T Read more
WNT Jan 19, 2019
US Soccer

Conditional Tickets Available for FIFA Women’s World Cup Knockout Round Via U.S. Soccer’s Allotment

CHICAGO (January 18, 2019) – FIFA has made a limited amount of conditional tickets for the knockout rounds of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 available to all 24 participating teams. Conditional tickets from U.S. Soccer’s allotment will only be distributed if the team advances to the specific round. U.S. Soccer has made its allotment of conditional tickets for the Round of Read more
WNT Jan 18, 2019
US Soccer

Sigi Schmid: A Coach, A Teacher, A Gentleman, A Friend

Touching tributes poured in on social media from all corners of the soccer community as news spread that Hall of Fame coach Sigi Schmid had passed away on Christmas Day 2018. And amid the sadness shared by so many who knew him, the messages also provided the rest of us a glimpse into the kind of man that Sigi was, and reminded everyone of the influence Sigi had on the American soccer landscape.

For newer fans of the game, Sigi will be remembered as one of the greatest of MLS coaches, leading the Columbus Crew, Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy to multiple trophies each. Older fans may recall the soccer factory he created while coaching UCLA to numerous NCAA Championships in the 1980 and ‘90s, churning out future U.S. Soccer legends like Cobi Jones, Brad Friedel, Paul Caligiuri, Joe Max-Moore, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Lewis and Chris Henderson, among others.

Sigi Schmid

It’s also important to highlight the impact he had with two teams he coached for shorter time frames: the U.S. U-20 MNTs that participated in the 1999 and 2005 FIFA U-20 World Youth Championships, each time advancing to the knockout stage while facing the likes of Argentina, England, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Seven players from those U-20 teams would go on to represent the MNT at senior FIFA World Cups, while many others also had solid pro careers. And if not for Schmid, we may never have known some of those players. We caught up with a few from each team:

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1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup Championship:

While at UCLA, Sigi also assisted the MNT at 1994 FIFA World Cup and coached the following year’s Pan-American Games. In 1997, he was also coaching the U-18 MNT when he went to scout a player who had just played in the U-17 FIFA World Youth Championship and was playing for his high school in Southern California. However, as Carlos Bocanegra tells it, there was a mistake on the published schedule and the team that Sigi went to see was not playing. Sigi stuck around anyway, and watched the promising football wide receiver, Bocanegra, play soccer for his Alta Loma High School.

“I think about that all the time,” the two-time World Cup veteran Bocanegra told ussoccer.com this week. “That was my break. That was my chance. He gave me the opportunity and I was able to take that opportunity. That’s how I was able to kick-start my soccer career – pure coincidence that he was watching my game that got mixed up and he saw me play.”

Schmid invited Bocanegra, a junior at the time, to a U-18 camp. The next year he continued his pursuit of the talented defender and recruited Bocanegra to join him at UCLA. Their bond strengthened when Schmid took over the U-20 MNT and made Bocanegra a key member of the USA’s 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship side in Nigeria.

That team also included fellow future senior World Cup players Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Nick Rimando and Chris Albright, as well as long-time pros Danny Califf, Nick Garcia, Cory Gibbs, John Thorrington and Taylor Twellman, who became one of the most prolific American goalscorers in the pro ranks.

“That World Cup, playing with Sigi, had a massive impact on me and ultimately convinced me that I needed to go pro,” said Twellman, who at the time was also contemplating if his future would be in baseball, where he also excelled.

At the tournament, the USA defeated an England side that featured Ashley Cole and Peter Crouch, fell to Shinji Ono’s Japan, and defeated Cameroon in group play before falling by a score of 3-2 in the Round of 16 to eventual champions Spain that included Iker Casillas and Xavi.

In the lead up to that tournament, Sigi broke from the past and brought the team overseas for training, including to Morocco for two games and on a two-week fitness camp in Germany, where the team stayed at a bed-and-breakfast.


Bocanegra in action vs. Argentina in 2003, a few short years after graduating from Schmid's tutelage. 

“He really tried to give us good experiences that he thought would help us later in our career,” said Bocanegra. “He always tried to set trips up around where we could watch games at a higher level and get experiences to challenge ourselves in different ways than was maybe common practice. He always wanted the best for the group and to give us the best experiences to try to better ourselves, not only on the field but in life and to become well-rounded in the game.”

As a reward for the hard work in Germany, Sigi brought the U20s to France to attend the 1998 World Cup match between the USA and Germany.

“Sigi had such a feel for the game of soccer, domestically and globally,” said Chris Albright. “He always communicated that we were putting on our nations colors and flag, representing the country. He drilled that in us that this was not to take it for granted, that it was not to be taken lightly.”

Like Bocanegra, Sigi introduced Albright to the National Team scene. Later he helped pick him up when things were not going well at D.C., trading for him in LA. At the suggestion of then MNT coach Bruce Arena, Sigi helped convert Albright from a forward into a defender, a move that later landed Chris on the 2006 World Cup team.

“He had an excellent ability to teach multiple positions; he could make me a better forward, wide midfielder, defender,” Albright said. “He could teach principles of different positions to help each player grow, and that teaching element in developing us at that time was unique.”

Twellman scored four goals in the tournament, good for third overall, thus becoming the first American to capture a scoring award (Bronze Boot) in a FIFA World Youth Championship.


Twellman accepts the Bronze Boot alongside then U.S. Soccer president Dr. Robert S. Contiguglia.

“When people talk about Sigi, they talk about his love of the game,” Twellman said, who a few months later would leave Maryland to sign with 1860 Munich in Germany. “But he was also a gentleman and was kind off the field. Every single one of us on that team, if we saw Sigi 3-4-5-10 years down the road…he always watched our games, even when he was not our coach. He was always willing to talk to us, showed interested in us, asked us about our lives.”

Now the Technical Director of MLS Cup champion Atlanta United, Bocanegra draws from those early experiences under Schmid.

“Even though we were young, he really tried to instill the professionalism in us,” Bocanegra said. “The detail, structure, organization – challenging us. He always made time to make people feel important. He never stopped, through college, through pros, was always available. He was pretty special.”

==============

2005 Under-20 World Youth Championship

A week after that 1999 U-20 tournament came to an end for the USA, Sigi also began his pro career, taking the helm of his hometown LA Galaxy for the next five seasons.

He returned to coach the  U-20 MNT in October 2014, having only a couple months to scout and prep players for January’s U-20 Concacaf Championship.

Two years earlier, Schmid’s Galaxy had eliminated Kansas City and veteran National Team player Peter Vermes from the MLS Cup Playoffs. After the game, Vermes recalled this week, Schmid approached him and told him he’d like to have him on his staff one day.

Fast-forward to fall 2014, a since-retired Vermes called Sigi and reminded him of that conversation. Schmid held true and invited Vermes to a three-week U-20 camp. After a week of evaluating, Schmid told Vermes he had earned one of the assistant coach positions.

“It was a great opportunity for me just to be around somebody like him with as much knowledge and experience that he had,” Vermes said, who enters the 2019 season as the longest tenured MLS coach, having taken the reigns of Sporting KC in 2009. “I already knew I wanted to coach for a long time, but what those experiences give you is like anything – when you first want to do something, you’re excited, you’re ambitious, you’re motivated, you’re all those things. But sometimes you lack the confidence. For me, Sigi gave me a direction that I felt comfortable with because I had gotten a chance to see a lot of different things that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t get that chance to be with him and spend all that time, and the preparation, and everything. It was a great experience.”

Schmid’s first friendly was in November in Ft. Lauderdale. Due to College Cup, some would-be regulars were not available, so Schmid called in four new players, including UCLA speedster Marvell Wynne, who had never been called to any YNT camp before.

“I think I should have been more in the moment with everything that happened,” Wynne admits. “When I got called in I remember thinking ‘these guys are way better than me.’ But Sigi kept calling me back. When he said I made the team, I was definitely shocked.”

For a mid-December camp Schmid called in 30 players, including UCLA walk-on midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who also had never been on any Youth National Team. Like Wynne, Feilhaber also made a formidable impression.

Wynne and Feilhaber were instrumental in helping the USA qualify for the

2005 FIFA U-20 World Youth Championship three weeks later.

Let’s back up for a second. Sigi’s sons also played college soccer in the LA area around that era. And, family man that he was, he would always attend their games, first Kurt’s at UCLA, and later Kyle’s at UC-Irvine.

“It’s what jump-started my entire career,” said newly retired 12-year pro Brad Evans. “The only reason I made that U-20 team is because Kyle Schmid transferred to UC Irvine. Without Kyle transferring there was absolutely no reason for Sigi to come watch UCI play.”

Schmid had spotted Evans that fall at UCI, but it wasn’t until after the U-20s had qualified for the World Cup that he called in the versatile player to his first National Team camp at any level.   

Vermes explained how Sigi gave the preliminary roster to rest of the coaching staff and told them that they could each make a case for one player to either be replaced or be added. 

“A lot of guys in that position would never consult the rest of staff,” Vermes said. “I thought that showed a lot of security and confidence on his part, to know what his decisions were but also want to know what his staff’s decisions were, and ultimately to make the best decision. There’s no doubt that that has helped me, and I would say that a lot of the players that were identified are players that are still playing or who had great careers because they were identified correctly.”

Wynne, Feilhaber and Evans were on the final 21-player roster, along with Jonathan Spector, Sacha Kljestan, Lee Nguyen, Freddy Adu, Chad Barret and Eddie Gaven, among others who also had solid pro careers.

The team shocked the world in the tournament opener, defeating Argentina 1-0 thanks to a Barrett goal assisted by Wynne. It would be the only loss and shutout suffered by the South Americans, who won their next six matches en route the lifting the championship trophy with future international stars Sergio Aguero, Lucas Biglia, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernando Gago and Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner, Lionel Messi.

2005 U-20 MNT vs. Argentina
2005 U-20 MNT vs. Argentina
2005 U-20 MNT vs. Argentina
2005 U-20 MNT vs. Argentina
2005 U-20 MNT vs. Argentina
Chad Barrett, who would go on to play professionally under Schmid in MLS, scored the game-winner vs. Argentina at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.

The 20s then played Germany to a scoreless draw and defeated Egypt 1-0 before losing 3-1 to Italy in the Round of 16. The experience and exposure provided opportunities to a number of players.

Feilhaber would soon sign with Hamburg, and later would score one of the best goals of the USA’s rivalry against Mexico, helping the MNT win the 2007 Gold Cup. And despite interest from international clubs, Wynne and Evans returned to school. Wynne became the top pick in the next MLS SuperDraft and Evans was selected 15th overall the following year by Columbus’s new coach, Sigi Schmid.

“He means more than I can really describe,” Feilhaber said, who along with Spector also made the 2010 FIFA World Cup roster. “Getting that opportunity with the 20s led to everything else in my life. I have no idea if I would have become a pro. I know I would not have been as successful financially, [and] going to Europe that early helped me immensely as a player. I don’t know if I would have ever played on the National Team let alone in a World Cup. I’m really grateful for Sigi having that keen eye and for giving me that opportunity.”

Sigi not only gave Evans his international debut and professional debut but would also bring him to Seattle on their way to spending 10 pro seasons together.

“He was the pivot for me in my entire career,” Evans said. “You have youth coaches, parents, but if you want to talk about the person who I’m able to talk about 12 years later and say I played professionally because of them…yes, it comes from within, but you have to have someone who pushes you and really believed in you, and Sigi was the guy for me.”

========

REFLECTIONS:

Sigi’s memorial took place on Friday, Jan. 18 in Los Angeles.

In March 2017, after more than 300 MLS games and having also represented the USA in the 2008 Olympics and 2009 Confederations Cup, Wynne’s career came to an end after undergoing a heart procedure.

When he came to from the operation, one of the first voicemails he listened to was from Sigi Schmid.

“Sigi was the reason I became a pro,” Wynne said. “He got me on to the scene, kept me there, had confidence in me and he kept me going. In terms of coaching, it was more, ‘get the basics right and perfect them.’ He was the first one to hammer that home, and if you ever saw my career, it was basic.”

A reflective Wynne made a special trip to an LA Galaxy game last year to meet up with his former coach.

“We talked about my heart situation, and caught up about everything,” Wynne said. “And I told him, ‘you’re the reason I went pro.’ I was able to tell him face to face, but I hoped he knew.”

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“Yea, the opportunity, experience and all those other things were great, but the best thing for me, to be honest, was that he and I became friends after that 2005 Youth Championship,” Vermes said. “We always, always talked and kept in touch and spent time with each other. We had a very good relationship.”

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“I sense that he knew what he meant to me,” Feilhaber said. “The way that we spoke was not in a way that most coaches to ex-players do. We were friends - he understood how much of an influence he had on me. We had respect for each other, and I’m going to miss him a lot, but it’s so important to have these memories about him.”

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“We talk about a coaching tree a lot, but Sigi’s got the player tree, the coaching tree, the soccer tree really,” Bocanegra said. “So many people spiraled off the opportunities he gave them. Through soccer he gave so many people their start. But the biggest part that everybody remembers is that he cared about each and every person. He wanted to get the best out of them, and did not give up. He would give second chances, third chances - if you were his guys, and you worked for him he was going to his damndest to get the best out of you and make you a better player or person in general.”

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“When I think back on it, especially the last couple of weeks, we always talked about getting the ‘Sigi shirt-tug,’” Evans reminisced. “Once he got a hold of your shirt and put his arm around you, there was no getting away from it. But I remember him being very honest with me in everything. He never blew smoke up my tail or thought that I was better or worse than I was. He always believed in me. We really trusted each other when it came to soccer and had an unspoken relationship that just worked. It’s something that I’ll cherish and remember forever.”

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U-20 MNT Jan 18, 2019

WNT Meets Real Life Heroes in Normandy

While in Normandy, France ahead of their matchup vs. France, members of the U.S. Women's National Team took advantage of a day off to take a trip to Omaha Beach - site of the Battle of Normandy and D-Day on June 6, 1944. There, they met Steve Melnikoff, Frank Devita, Greg Melikian and Pete Du Pre, four WWII veterans in their 90s who valiantly shared their stories, some laughs and also quite a few tears. It was a day of learning, of love and one full of pride. These heroes are part of an organization named The Greatest Generations Foundation, which is spearheaded by its founder Timothy Davis. For more information visit www.tggf.org. Read more
WNT Jan 18, 2019
US Soccer

U.S. WNT Opens 2019 with Marquee Match-Up vs. France

With the calendar turning to 2019 and the World Cup just five months away, the countdown to France has officially begun. Since the end of the last Olympics, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis and her staff have spent the better part of two and half years evaluating players, and the 27 that traveled to Portugal for the “pre-season” training camp represent those who have shown the talent and Read more
WNT Jan 18, 2019
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About World Cup Hosts, France

A big game to kick off a big year. Below is France’s roster for the match, and the Five Things to Know about the world’s third-ranked team. France Women’s National Team Roster by Position: GOALKEEPERS (3): Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyonnais), Solène Durand (EA de Guingamp), Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Arsenal FC, England) DEFENDERS (8 ): Julie Debever (EA de Guingamp), Sakina Read more
WNT Jan 18, 2019

WNT Plays the BFF Quiz, Episode II

They say they’re friends… but are they really? On Episode II, we sat down U.S. Women’s National Team players Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh; McCall Zerboni and Jessica McDonald; and brought back Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis for a chance at redemption after their less than ideal performance on Episode I. Here, we put their friendship knowledge to the test. Read more
WNT Jan 17, 2019
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